And that last one is really what I’m yearning for, because I’m so sick of us all walking around like small, superficial people who are scared to emote, to think for ourselves, to shake things up, to try something different, to make mistakes.
The yetzer is running riot in 2017, and one of its biggest coups is that it’s managed to convince the Jewish people that we’re obsessed with food, and with money, and with property, and with clothes, nails, holidays and status when really?
Not even a little bit.
And that goes for even the most apparently brain-dead, superficial, crazy, materialism-obsessed Jew you care to mention.
Part of the reason so many Jews are literally going bonkers - I just read that a million people in Israel are on either on Ritalin or Adderall, which is completely shocking when you understand that we’re a country of six million residents - is because we’re trying to shoe-horn our huge, massive, light-filled neshamas into these incredible small, constrictive boxes called ‘the real world’, ‘physical existence’ and ‘bodies’.
And to say it’s a very tight, uncomfortable fit is the understatement of the century.
I think that’s one of the big changes that will intensify as the time of Moshiach strengthens in the world, that we’ll stop being scared to really be ourselves - in all our weird, glorious holiness - and we’ll start to be real people. Big people. Real Jews.
The yetzer knows that this is the beginning of redemption, mamash, both personal and global, so it’s going all out to keep us stuck in materialism and other petty notions of how ‘bad’, and ‘lacking’ and ‘unholy’ we are.
Most of us today are so scared to lift the lid and peek under the bonnet of our true selves because we think we’re going to find some really icky, yucky, ‘big’ stuff, like jealousy, anger, hatred, spite etc.
And we will!
But so what?
Because when you really start to internalize just how huge, big, beautiful, holy, amazing your Jewish neshama is in comparison to all the klipot and lies the yetzer’s spun around us about who we really are, and how we really think, and what we really want - even the biggest negative character trait then becomes no more than a knot to untie, a puzzle to solve, a mess to clean up.
And that’s all.
The first day, I was so worried that ‘uhoh, there goes my neshama, swept away by a hard-core electric guitar riff…’
But already by the third day, the song seemed to lose its grip on me, and today, nearly a week later, I’m ready to delete it into oblivion again.
It all showed me that while my yetzer had me fooled that I wanted Guns N Roses, really, I just want God, and kedusha, and Gad Elbaz.
I am so much bigger than Sweet Child O Mine, but I never knew that, until I did the experiment, turned around and finally faced down the issue.
Over on ravberland.com, Rav Ofer Erez recently brought a quote from Rav Eliyahu Dessler, author of Michtav MeEliyahu, that really resonated with me, and underlines what I’m talking about here, about the need for us to be real about who we really are, and what we really want.
He wrote that:
“Rav Dessler says in his book “Michtav MiEliyahu” in the name of the Maharal of Prague, that what is holding back the redemption is not our lackings and our sins, rather it’s the falsehood in a person that he doesn’t see the truth about himself. The work of judging oneself is an immense tikkun because it removes the screens between us and Hashem and helps us come close to Him.
“It’s important that a person learns to confess, and to protest the bad, without falling as a result. We want the opposite to happen! The goal is to be happy with the work of clarifying the truth, because all this internal cleaning builds a new closeness to the Master of the world.
“Rabbenu reveals to us that through judging ourselves a person removes all his fears.”
(BTW, I highly recommend you go read the full article about the healthy way to judge ourselves and our shortcomings, HERE.)
But the point here is that there are two truths we need to see about ourselves. The first, more worrying and potentially ‘dangerous’ truth is that we love Guns N Roses.
But the second much bigger, much more real truth, is that we love God more.
And when more of us Jews really start to internalize that, we’ll finally start to be the big, huge, real people God designed us to be - and that will usher Moshiach and global redemption into the world.